Uncategorized

National Healthcare Insurance Isn’t Enough: Six Crucial Steps To Improve Healthcare

Healthcare reform has finally made its way through the U.S. political machinery, emerging with a $1 trillion reform plan extending health insurance to 32 million additional Americans and eliminating other barriers to healthcare insurance.

To be sure, it’s a good start: America has finally joined the world’s other developed nations and made healthcare a national requirement for most citizens. However, there is a real risk that we have traded one problem for another.

The healthcare reform law – formally, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – does very little to address the underlying costs and structural issues that have driven healthcare costs to rise at about 2 ½ times the annual rate of inflation. Adding 32 million people to these bad economics will place additional stress on a system that continues to swell. Failure will lead an existing $2.5 trillion industry to inflate to more than $4.5 trillion in 2019, according to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and further weaken the U.S. economy.

Transformative change in our healthcare system is required, and this can only be achieved through innovation and the adoption of new ideas. Such a healthcare industrial revolution would go far toward eliminating the 30 percent waste and error characteristic in today’s system and improving U.S. global competitiveness via the creation of new products for export. If created and executed properly, disruptive models of healthcare services and new medical technologies will be the foundation for opportunities to create new businesses based on 21st century technology.

Here are six suggestions to bring about the changes needed:

•An efficient system to prevent and manage chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension, which account for 78 percent of all healthcare expenses in Medicare. Technology can help improve care management to prevent costly procedures and to incentivize consumers to live healthier lifestyles.

•Error reduction in inpatient, ambulatory, and post-acute care. These errors – a staggering 19 percent error rate in medication administration errors at hospital bedsides alone — are the result of poor information flow and fallible human behavior. Innovative solutions to help care administrators avoid costly and tragic mistakes have begun emerging and have demonstrated positive clinical outcomes.

•Focused technology and services to address and reduce the diabetes epidemic, which costs an estimated $170 billion annually in the U.S. Improved diagnostic solutions and healthcare management programs will go a long way in controlling the spiraling costs.

•New medical technology to enable earlier and better diagnosis and thus earlier intervention to mitigate the impact of high-cost, high-morbidity diseases. Continued innovation around technologies that help identify diseases earlier will have a vital financial and clinical impact.

•Medical devices to foster less invasive and more effective surgical interventions. New minimally invasive surgical technologies will enable care givers and hospitals to provide treatment options that reduce inpatient use and result in fewer negative side effects and better clinical outcomes. A number of these technologies have already been developed and are being used successfully, but much more can be done.

•Lastly, venture capitalists must recognize and sponsor entrepreneurs committed to developing solutions for most of the previously mentioned challenges. Some already are doing this, which is why some of the required technology already exists. But we have a long way to go, especially in healthcare IT, which currently comprises less than 1% of venture capital investment. Venture capitalists must assume a leadership role in spurring the innovation needed to save not just America’s healthcare economy but its overall economy.

Failure to innovate will lead us down the path to a single payer system, which history shows is not a good solution, either. Every nation that has adopted a single-payer approach is experiencing healthcare inflation similar to or greater than what we are contending with in America.

Clearly, the huge and complex problems of healthcare must be attacked on multiple fronts, and the American healthcare economy is clearly a market poised for transformation. The passage of landmark healthcare legislation creates significant impetus to develop and market sound ideas and technologies to improve the health of our healthcare system. I’m optimistic this scenario will evolve because it is fundamentally the story of America’s history – one in which serious problems are solved and the country is renewed through industrial innovation and public/private partnerships that foster growth.

Albert Waxman, PhD, has more than 40 years leadership experience as an entrepreneur and investor in the healthcare economy, fueled by a particular focus on driving down costs, improving quality and aligning incentives across payers, providers and patients. As the CEO and founding partner of Psilos Group, co-headquartered in the Bay Area and New York City, he and his firm have funded and developed more than 38 innovative companies dedicated to this vision, including ActiveHealth, AngioScore, Click4Care, Definity Health, ExtendHealth and OmniGuide.

Livongo’s Post Ad Banner 728*90

Categories: Uncategorized

Tagged as: ,

19
Leave a Reply

19 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
18 Comment authors
Susan GreenbergJamesadamAnthony D'AngeloGüzel Resimler Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Susan Greenberg
Guest
Susan Greenberg

Nice idea but how do we pay for these changs if we are not reimbursed by CMS and if we are it is 3 working weeks later at 21% less. How about this aspect to the primary care shortage. Unemployeed doctors. Us old guys are not retiring – can’t afford it. Groups are hiring – can’t afford it. New docs going out of their own – what decade is this and how can they afford it with the loans. Why does healthcare reform NEVER EVER address the doctor. If healthcare is a right then by extension the person providing that… Read more »

James
Guest
James

“The typical American diet needs to change. Such change will face opposition from very powerful industries and from the people themselves.”
In 2006 the State of Minnesota tried to ban the use of food stamps to purchase soda pop and candy bars. They were stopped from doing so by the federal government.

adam
Guest
adam

We all know Obamacare is going to end very badly indeed, ie with rationing, poorer quality care, hostile customer service, and long waiting lists. If you’ve got money, you’ll buy concierge service and be just fine. If you don’t, good luck!
Make all the lists you want. It’s not going to make a damn bit of difference.

Anthony D'Angelo
Guest
Anthony D'Angelo

Great ideas! However, people have to start taking responsibilities for their diet and lifestyles. We don’t need the government to have their fingers in the soup (soda tax, salt tax, etc…).

Güzel Resimler
Guest

Thanks for tips !

massage therapy toronto
Guest

they really dropped the ball when they dropped the public option from the bill. making those insurance companies compete against a real competitor who wasn’t part of their price fixing oligopoly would have changed the game

Florida Doctor
Guest

The only way to deliver comprehensive quality heatlth care to all Americans through private doctors, hospitals, clinics and therapists with low cost drugs is via a single payer, low overhead national health insurance which is allowed to bid on pharmaceuticals and install a single EMR/Billing system to reveal quality of medical and surgical therapeutic and preventative outcomes and thereby allow both doctors, hospitals and pharmaceuticals to compete in a capitalistic free market based on quality of outcomes. All else is a continuation of the current government subsidized private drug and health insurance ponzi scheme operating parallel to and within Medicare… Read more »

Jewel Health
Guest

Dr. Waxman: Your comments are on target except for one thing . . . the rising cost of prescription drug use in America alone. Incentive programs, kickbacks to doctors, prescrition drug manufacturers’ television advertising are all contributing to the unnecessary health care. We could call this a drug cartel legally “built into” the US health care system. I wonder what percent of drugs are inappropriately prescribed by the medical profession. We all need to get to the bottom of this before we become a “zombie” society. Market forces should not be present in the US health care delivery system of… Read more »

Margalit Gur-Arie
Guest

Nate, you have a special gift of taking everything to the most extreme. No, not everybody should move to the city, but my neighborhood has no sidewalks. The idea was that everybody drives. Everything has a drive through window, so you don’t have to burn even 5 precious calories while getting an oversized big Mac. In most neighborhoods, you have to drive a few miles to the grocery store and a few miles to the playground. That’s just bad planning. I think you understand exactly what I’m trying to say. As to gyms, it won’t kill a small employer to… Read more »

Nate
Guest
Nate

Margalit are you saying everyone should be forced to move to the city? While walking is nice my office is 40 miles away in Ohio. In NV walking anywhere when is it 110 is not very praticle. So everyone should move to the City AND all cities in the SW should be disolved? “Employers need to be given incentives to provide on-site exercise facilities,” That sounds terribly inefficient. All but the largest employers would have the equipment sit idle most of the day. Isn’t it better to have a central gym, a large size one with all sorts of choice… Read more »

praetorius
Guest
praetorius

6 cost effective strategies to improve healthcare
@Find a competent doctor.
@Avoid care where CPOE is king.
@If you are subject to a CPOE circus, have a advocate 24/7 questioning all.
@Avoid paraprofessionals with long white coats in the PA and NP doctor act alike gig.
@Obtain second opinions from clinical experts.
@Avoid hospitals where CEO’s earn more than $1 million, because they are skimping on care to meet the compensation.

John O'Neil
Guest

I agree, America’s health care needs to be reformed! Very informative and interesting ideas.

Al Waxman
Guest

Margalit, Michael, Shereef I could not agree with you more.
Derek, thanks for the note.
Geek, I am not sure what your point is. Mine is that we can do good things to improve American’s health and the healthcare system and still prosper as a business community. Not sure why that is a negative in our country.
Al

geek
Guest
geek

Neither geekdom nor patients will be served by the points you raise. Costs will increase and you will be enriched.

Derek
Guest

Well stated.. I agree with your “suggestions”. I too believe that these steps can greatly improve the quality of care provided. Thanks for sharing.